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Academy Town Square

Academy Town Square Series
Academy Town Square Series

The Academy Town Square series is designed to engage and provide relevant educational content to the public on environmental issues. Academy Town Squares focus on critical global issues in environmental science by featuring prominent thought leaders and their findings on water, climate change, evolution and biodiversity and extinction.

Academy Town Square: Water Futures  
Wednesday, January 25  
6:30 – 8:00 pm  
The Academy of Natural Sciences Auditorium

Academy Town Square: Water Futures, Wednesday, January 25

Join the Academy of Natural Sciences as we look toward the future of water — considering community resilience in relation to this fundamental element of human and ecological health. What are the key issues that we need to remain focused upon? What challenges do we see on the horizon? How do we keep the water flowing? 

This program marks the Academy’s transition from Water Year 2022 to Biodiversity Year 2023.   

Moderator: Sharon Walker, PhD, Dean, College of Engineering; Distinguished Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, Drexel University 


  • Jerald Fagliano, PhD, Clinical Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University 
  • Mira Olson, PhD, Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering;Co-founder and Director of Technical Extension of the newly established Peace Engineering program, Drexel University 
  • Christopher Sales, Associate Professor, Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering Department, Drexel University 

Past Academy Town Squares

Academy Town Square Presents: Flooding in Philadelphia's Eastwick Community

In this special Academy Town Square, residents of Eastwick will share their challenges as well as their determined spirit — describing the history of a remarkable community organizing effort and raising awareness of what we can do to support it.

Academy Town Square Presents: More Livable Communities in an Era of Climate Change

As we adapt to our changing climate, unexpected benefits may follow — especially for marginalized communities. Efforts to reduce heating and flooding bring more green spaces that are known to strengthen mental health and improve communities. Emergency preparedness efforts create more accessible areas for older and disabled members of the community. Join us to explore how these solutions to climate change provide an opportunity for equity to marginalized Black and Latino communities.

Views and opinions expressed by the speakers are solely their own and do not necessarily represent any associated institutions.

Academy Town Square Presents: Preparing for a Warmer, Wetter Philadelphia

Climate change is causing Philadelphia not only to heat up, but also to experience more frequent and intense flooding events. In this program we’ll explore how local communities are dealing with increasing temperatures exacerbated by the urban heat island effect; natural cycles of flooding; and how urbanization and climate change impact flooding risks in our city. But where there are challenges, there are people ready to step up and face them. Find out how, from community groups to city government, Philadelphians are making efforts to understand and mitigate the effects of a warmer, wetter Philadelphia.

Academy Town Square Presents: Gideon Mendel Drowning World

Gideon Mendel joined us for an Academy Town Square on May 6 to discuss his engagement with social issues as a photographer and artist, including the challenge of making climate change visible.